Tangy and slightly sweet vegan coleslaw made with 8 simple ingredients. Nut-free, gluten-free, with an oil-free and low-fat option.
Easy Vegan Coleslaw
Is it even summer without a good coleslaw recipe to bring to a BBQ or potluck? This was a recipe requested many times after I posted this sloppy joes recipe and I’m here to deliver!
Classic coleslaw calls for mayonnaise and sometimes dairy, but it is SO EASY to make vegan coleslaw. Basically as simple as swapping in vegan mayo. My favorite brands are Just Mayo and Hellmann’s Vegan Mayo (Hellmann’s is also known as Best Foods in other locations.) Some other brands of vegan mayo are Vegenaise and Mindful.
But the secret to a good coleslaw isn’t just the creamy mayo – we also need some tangy and sweet flavors. For the acidity, apple cider vinegar does the job! You could also use white vinegar, but I prefer the extra flavor ACV offers. You can use maple syrup or organic cane sugar for the hint of sweetness always found in coleslaw.
We could stop there, but celery seed, salt, and pepper add a good punch of additional flavor to the coleslaw dressing. No weirdly-sweet-but-still-bland supermarket-esque coleslaw here. But if you truly hate the flavor of celery, just leave out the celery seed and it will still be delicious.
What Type of Cabbage is Best for Coleslaw?
While the flavors are, like, SUPER important, let’s not forget about the base for our coleslaw: cabbage and carrots.
The type of cabbage traditionally used in coleslaw is green cabbage – sometimes in addition to red cabbage. These types are more resistant to sogginess than other cabbages. I like to use both for the beautiful color contrast.
If you have some Brussels sprouts you need to use up, you can shred ’em and add ’em in, too! I’ve done this a couple times and love the flavor/texture variation.
How to Shred Cabbage for Coleslaw
To shred cabbage, cut the head into quarters and cut off the core. Then, taking a sharp knife, thinly slice the cabbage. You can also use a mandolin slicer which is quicker and easier.
Don’t have time to shred cabbage? With the pre-packaged salad mixes, grocery stores also carry a coleslaw mix. At my usual store, I found a mix of shredded green cabbage & carrots. But some also carry the green cabbage, red cabbage, and carrot trio.
Oil-Free & Low-Fat Coleslaw Option
If you would prefer a low-fat coleslaw, I have a recipe for oil-free “mayo” that will fit the bill. The recipe is also soy-free and nut-free – it’s made with white beans and other flavors like dijon mustard to achieve that mayo taste. I love using it in this potato salad recipe.
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- 4 cups shredded cabbage *
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 1/2 cup vegan mayo
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp maple syrup or organic cane sugar
- 1/2 tsp celery seed or celery salt
- salt and pepper to taste
- To shred the cabbage: Cut the head of cabbage into quarters, then cut out the core. Using a sharp knife, slice the cabbage into very thin strips. Or, you could use a mandolin.
- Toss all of the ingredients together in a large bowl.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.
- Store in the fridge for up to 3-5 days.